Accessories of Significance

Cap - Woman's or Child's

© 2022 Sharon Ann Burnston
Pattern diagrams may be copied for personal use, all other rights reserved.

Cap - Woman's or Child's c.1780

Courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston   #49.366.  Permission pending.

When I visited the MFA collection of caps with Sherri Saines in 2018, this was the only object I saw that looked to me to be a definitively 18th Century working class cap, pre 1790. It is either a large girl's size or a small woman's size. What is noteworthy about it is except for a row of stroke gathers it is completely assembled in whip stitch.

Click on photos to enlarge them.

Inside seams detail.

Stitching detail.

Gift of Mrs. Wendell Tabor
Fine linen, linen thread, and bobbin lace. Linen averages 92 threads per inch.

  1. Crown is 2 pieces, butted and whip stitched. Top edge has 1/8 inch seam allowance turned under and butted whip stitched together at 22 stitches/inch. Raw edges left raw. Face edge hemmed: turned under twice 1/16 inch and slip stitched with roughly 16 stitches/inch.
  2. Caul is sewn to the crown with 1/4 inch seam allowance. Raw edges left raw, sewn by turning under raw edges, butted, and whip stitched together at 24 stitches per inch.
  3. Top of caul is stroke gathered. 8 inches is gathered down to 3 inches in tiny stroke gathers that are not sewn quite evenly (more tightly sewn on right side, looser on the left.)
  4. At stroke gathered edge, raw edge of caul is turned under and stroke gathers slip stitched from outside.
  5. Same linen, straight grain strip is cut 20 1/4 x 1/2 inch to finish 20 inch x 1/4 inch (1/8 inch seam allowance). This is a casing sewn to assembled bottom edge as shown. Casing is seamed to bottom edge with right sides together (stitches cannot be seen) then folded over together and other long edge is slip stitched at 18 stitches/inch.
  6. Tape is inserted in casing. Tape is 1/8 inch wide, 23 inches long, ends left raw.
  7. Bobbin lace is sewn to face edge, with no fullness or gathers. Lace is 1 3/16 inches wide. Whip stitched to edge of face edge of cap at 16 stitches/inch.

If you want another approach to taking a pattern, here is Sherri Saines rendition of the same object.


Courtesy of the New Hampshire Historical Society

Jumps c. 1790   #1967.533.06

There is much debate on a good definition for "jumps." Having seen several objects that look a lot like this one I am of the opinion that these are true jumps, whereas many other objects commonly called jumps are actually quilted waistcoats of some kind. What is characteristic of this type of garment is that they are unadorned, utilitarian, lightly boned, and they lace in the front.

Click on photos to enlarge them.

Outside view, lacing is tied on the left front side.

Inside view, lacing is tied on the left front side.


Front and back view of the right front side.


Front and back view of the left front side.


Inside views, showing center back inserted strip of linen to enlarge, and kid leather binding and patch.

Description: Pair of jumps for a small woman, late 18th century. Natural, unbleached tan linen, (2 layers) hand-woven, 40 threads per inch, plainweave, canvas type. Back longer, top and bottom; scalloped bottom edge. Both bottom and top edges bound with white kid leather, stitched vertically. Leather string for lacing, laced at front. Originally 16 whalebone stays; only one remains. Fabric added in strips to enlarge garment.

  1. Jumps made from 2 layers of tan unbleached linen.
  2. Boning channels sewn with unbleached linen thread, back stitched 10 to 12 stitches per inch.
  3. Raw edges turned in toward wrong side, and two pieces were whipped stitched at SB and CB seams, and Center Front edges, at ten stitches to the inch.
  4. 6 eyelet holes (staggered for single lace) sewn in Center Front (CF) with doubled linen thread - 24 stitches each.
  5. Boning channels 3/8 inch boning was whale baleen, one piece remains.
  6. Top edge folded to wrong side +/- 1/2 inch and bound with kid. Sewn to outside, back stitch 10 per inch, folded over and whip stitched to the wrong side, 5 stitches per inch.
  7. Bottom edge no fold over, but bound same as top edge.
  8. Subsequently enlarged at side seams and Center Back where shown (CB) with possibly the same fabric turned 90 degrees. These seams sewn the same as in #3. Kid is patched in these areas.
  9. Kid patches crudely sewn on at 5 points of wear along the top, and linen patched in same places.

Surviving strip of lacing is 30 inch long strip of kid, knotted to bottom left eyelet.

Man's Stockings

Courtesy of the New Hampshire Historical Society

Man's Stocking, c. 1775    #1965.039

Pair of man's stockings, hand knit in off white cotton thread 16 stitches per inch in stockinette (measured on foot.)

Belonged to Thomas Patterson married June 1, 1775. Said to be his wedding stockings.

The most remarkable thing about this pair of stockings is the strong family resemblance they bear to the Joseph Gest stockings with Pennsylvania provenance in Fitting and Proper, pg 100, which many of us have long believed to be an oddity. This pair of men's stockings with New Hampshire provenance thus raises questions yet unanswered about men's styles and stocking construction.

Click on photos to enlarge them

Side view of top of stocking.

View of center back seam.

View of clocking on side.

View of lower clocking and ankle.

Loaned By: Robert R. Patterson

Condition: Good

  1. Top is 1/4 inch Stockinette -- Cast on row, then purl 2 rows, knit 2 rows, p2 rows, k2 rows (not wrap and turn) to A.
  2. Rest of stocking is k2 p3 rib except for field of clocking & foot.
  3. One purl stitch for center back "seam" in the stockinette top and then just symmetrical shaping.
  4. Field of clocking is Stockinette.
  5. Ribs end at B on the vamp, but in the back near the heel they end at C.
  6. Long gusset and edge 1/2" of heel is reverse Stockinette.
  7. Foot is stockinette, Toe is the "Common" toe, paired decreases.



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